Take Your Phones Out

My Husband and I recently went to see the Broadway show Moulin Rouge. (It’s a fun show, with popular music throughout, and it’s just an easy, enjoyable night at the theater)

You may not be aware, but Broadway theater is not necessarily cheap. While you can sometimes get lottery or rush tickets, which will be about 30$, this is not the norm. The cheapest seats you can normally find start at 49$ for the back rows of the highest level. Seats in the orchestra can run over 200$ a seat. When I go to the theater, I’m looking for special deals or flash sales, or I have a subscription to a theater company, which gives you tickets at a discount. But however you look at it- not cheap.

But anyway.

Moulin Rouge- which I got as a special no fee deal, but still we were in about the fifth row mezzanine. And it’s still not “cheap”.

While we were at the show, while the show was actually on the stage, people were on their phones.

When I say people, I don’t mean Gen-z. I mean older millennials and I dare say Gen X.

Seriously people?


I had to tap the person in front of me three times to shut her phone in the dark theater. She made a face at me. I may or may not have mouthed an inappropriate word at her. when she started to do it a fourth time I may or may not have kicked the back of her seat really hard.

And I told the usher at intermission about the plethora of phones. I told her exactly which seats had been doing it, but as there were so many, I think I missed some.

It is very very distracting for someone to put a light on in a dark place. If you don’t know this, I’m sorry but I’m judging you as an idiot.

Why did you pay good money to be at a show if you are going to scroll throughout the show? Seriously. I want to know.

Have we lost our ability to be in the moment?

Have we forgotten that you are disturbing the actors on the stage? Disturbing the people around you? Do you ever think about anyone other than yourself? Do we just not care as long as we get to LOL at a cat meme? Should the usher be forced to stand at the front of the mezzanine to make sure that no one uses their phone?

These aren’t children. These are grown ass adults who presumably have the funds to attend a Broadway show…

If you’re “bored”, just leave…

Points for discussion:

Has our use of phones gotten out of hand?

Do we reach for our phones the SECOND that we are bored or restless?

If you go to a theater, movie, music or play, do you take out your phone throughout the performance for the sake of scrolling?

Was I right to tell the person in front of me to stop?

If, and I mean if, I kicked the back of the chair, did I have the right to do that, or should I have thought more about the person scrolling because it might have been a twitter emergency, or that thumbs up really needed to be on the Instagram post?

What would you do in the situation?

Was this my story to tell?



I am going to ask a hypothetical question based on an actual conversation that took place in my house.

Say you have a 10am work meeting. People start arriving (either in person or Zoom) at 9:55. Maybe five of ten people are there.

Do you sit in silence and wait for the meeting to begin?


Do the people engage in idle conversation?

If you choose to have idle conversation, what do you choose to talk about?

Are there any topics that should be off limits during these times?

What about sports? In these pre meeting downtimes, is sports an acceptable topic, or is it too narrowly focused for general population?

In my most recent book clubs, both on Zoom and in person, we filled the down time talking about the weather. I know there are a thousand jokes centered around talking about the weather, but is there a real reason why we use it as a fallback- because it is comparatively safe to discuss with people you may or may not know well?

When we think of meetings we usually think of work related, but obviously you can have a meeting about anything. Do you have different types of conversation depending on whether or not the meeting is social or business?

Inquiring minds want to know: pre meeting chit chat- yay or nay? What’s the skinny?